City News

Art attack: mural faces removal

James Argent and flatmate BJ outside their home. Photo: supplied

A Woolloomooloo resident has launched a petition to save his mural from removal by the City of Sydney.

James Argent commissioned the artwork, which took three days to complete, in August last year. But council has ordered it gone by January 24, unless the Lord Mayor steps in.

“Clover Moore is all about a colourful and vibrant city….but council are forcing me to remove it,” Mr Argent said.

In a letter to Cr Moore, he said the artwork aligns with the City’s 2030 vision for a vibrant and artistic community.

“I understand that council organisations must adhere to rules and regulations however I hope that this matter can be resolved through a commitment to the 2030 vision,” he wrote.

“Let this mural be a beacon for what the City of Sydney Council can achieve within the greater community.”

Mr Argent has not received a formal response to his letter, but on Twitter Cr Moore said the house is situated in a heritage conservation area which requires council approval to alter.

“I encourage creativity but it’s important to protect the city’s heritage buildings,” she tweeted.

Mr Argent said council retains discretion over such decisions and keeping this artwork would not automatically “green light” any future art that could be considered offensive.

He told City News he had received a phone call from someone he believed to be in the enforcement team, informing him that because the decision had been reviewed by committee, the council would not back down.

Mr Argent said he is considering appealing the decision in the Land and Environment Court, which would cost upward of $800.

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